Hallie and Knox are the best of cousins and they’ve always been close. But this last year, Hallie’s junior year and Knox’s senior year, they’ve grown exceptionally close as they’ve navigated high school together: Football games, dances, jewelry class and supporting each other on the court. They are friends first and then cousins.

Which is why it’s so hard to say goodbye as he leaves for his mission.

Shortly before we left for our summer travels, I walked into the kitchen and found Hallie crying. I was concerned because I didn’t know what would provoke such tears. And then she said, “I think I have to say goodbye to Knox tonight!”

Luckily, she had a few more days, but with our conflicting summer traveling schedules these two had to say goodbye long before he was actually leaving….and it was an ugly goodbye and I will spare you the picture I have of Hallie’s puffy and red tear-stained cheeks. But here’s the last picture I have of the two of them – sitting at our kitchen island chatting away. (I will miss having Knox sitting at my island every weekend!)

Tomorrow morning, he hops on a plane headed for Mexico and we’re so excited for him. But the reality of his two year mission and the potential of Hallie’s 18 month mission overlapping – they potentially won’t see each other for three years and that is an emotional punch to the gut. But we’re not thinking about that today. 🙂

Today we’re just celebrating how awesome this guy is going to be as a missionary and so extremely grateful for his sweet friendship with Hallie. Good luck Knox!